In january latvia became the 18th country to adopt the euro

On January 1st, Latvia becomes the 18th member of the Eurozone to introduce the European single currency. Most of the country’s politicians and entrepreneurs are convinced of the benefits. However, like the population, a minority fears the risks.

There are quite a few things that speak against the euro. The monetary union has just proven to be rather shaky and the people in Latvia don’t want it at all – at least that’s what a clear majority in opinion polls says. None of this confuses the country’s finance minister, Andris Vilks. And if you ask him about the reasons, the first thing that comes up is a more political argument: "We are completing our dream of being part of all three crucial pillars of the western world: the EU, NATO and the euro zone," replies Vilks.

This enthusiasm for integration with the West has, of course, a lot to do with the fear of the overpowering eastern neighbor and former occupier Russia. But economically, too, the finance minister sees the euro primarily as a safe haven: Then there would be no more speculation with the currency, no constant rumors of devaluation, said Vilks. "Fending that off has always cost us so much strength. The euro is a powerful anchor of stability for us."

The political rifts in the usa remain in the corona crisis

How politicians in the US conduct corona crisis management at all levels largely depends on their political views. The dividing line between red and blue remains despite the pandemic.

The political dispute in the USA continues, even during the crisis, after all, the country was still in the election campaign until recently. But now one topic is superimposed on all others: the corona virus and how to deal with the pandemic correctly.

Joe Biden, the likely Democratic presidential candidate, accuses Trump of acting too late and too slowly. Biden wonders what is holding Trump. The US President does not let that sit on him and describes any form of criticism as a partisan maneuver. And there is no time for that.

The soviet military tribunal – an inquisition court

The military tribunal opens the trial of the accused after nine months of pre-trial detention. It only takes two days for the verdict to be pronounced – very rarely does the hearing last up to a week. Jorg Rudolph from the Berlin history institute "facts&files "declares that the Soviet military tribunal functions like an inquisition court. There can be no question of free, open proceedings; defenders in the sense of trained lawyers or witnesses who lead to exoneration are not permitted, according to Rudolph. The tribunal is merely judging According to the criminal complaint submitted by the interrogation officer of the Soviet secret service. This criminal complaint is included in the prosecutor’s indictment and the judge enforces the sentence without great freedom and without great debate.

Arbitrary charges

In order to prove the guilt of the accused, the interrogation protocols produced under pressure are read out. Also in Arno Franke’s trial. Among other things, he is accused of forming counterrevolutionary gangs and planning an armed uprising. According to the Soviet secret service, Franke is part of an illegal organization of 31 people. The West Berliner Gerhard Max Lingk is considered to be the head of the so-called resistance group. Jurgen Franke says that his father only knew Lingk briefly at the time. Franke believes that there can be no question of an organized gang, because the two men only met once briefly on the train and they did not have weapons. One case among many, according to Jorg Rudolph from "facts&files ", because once a person was in the clutches of the secret service, then, according to a pyramid scheme, his acquaintances were also suspected. So the brief contact with Lingk was fatal for Arno Franke.

The "rubber paragraph" 58

Most of the prisoners are sentenced under Section 58 of the Soviet Criminal Code. A rubber paragraph that includes anti-Soviet activities and high treason among other things. The death sentences are mainly pronounced for alleged espionage. Against Arno Franke.

Latin america festival in stuttgart-sud: the south is getting a new festival

In June 2019 the festival took place in the Roman fort. Photo: Eberhard Borner

In June, the Latin American weekend is to take place for the first time on Erwin-Schoettle-Platz. Local associations and restaurateurs set up their stands, there is music and dancing. The commercial organizer comes from Frankfurt.

Stuttgart – Food and folklore are also the ingredients of this festival, which is to take place on Schoettle-Platz from June 12th to 14th. In addition to restaurateurs and retailers, associations and initiatives that are committed to Latin American topics will also set up their stands here. The difference to most other small festivals of this kind is: Behind it is a professional provider, the O&M Event Gastro GmbH from Frankfurt. The two-man business has been touring Germany with its concept since 2017. The two entrepreneurs themselves have biographical connections to the more politically and culturally braced, because geographically clearly delimited region: Hernando Ospina comes from Colombia and Daniele Marino is married to a Peruvian.

The power of myth

Dealing There are many myths about dealing with AIDS in Africa. Some want to explain how the disease came about. In Mali, for example, people imagine that a perverted European forced a prostitute to have sexual intercourse with an infected dog, thereby spreading the disease. Often there is also the conviction that Americans and Europeans deliberately contaminated condoms with the HI virus in order to prevent the population explosion in Africa that is feared in the West.

Traudl Solleder, employee of the Tropical Medicine Department at the Medical Mission Clinic in Wurzburg, has often encountered this prejudice during her numerous stays in African countries. As well as the views that AIDS was an idea of ​​the West in order to sell condoms or to impersonate Africans and to talk them into family planning.

Unusual ideas

As Europeans, it is particularly difficult to deal with the ideas of many Africans when it comes to the transmission of diseases: "You don’t trust Western science, you believe in someone’s evil wish, in witchcraft and magic. People who are sick often go to them a traditional healer to analyze who might have wished him the misfortune ", observed Solleder. Especially when it comes to AIDS, it is easier for many people to deal with the disease in this way instead of worrying about the scientifically proven transmission routes. Because then you would have to talk about sex, and that’s a taboo subject in Africa.

Latvia – a role model for the euro crisis states?

Latvia has had the euro since the turn of the year. In 2009 the country was still in a deep crisis. Thanks to a rigid austerity course, it now has the highest growth rate in the EU. As a role model for Greece and Co. it is still rather unsuitable.

Latvia is a case for the Guinness Book of Records – when it comes to economic roller coaster rides: "For five years we were the fastest growing European economy," said the chief economist of the Riga DNB Bank, Peteris Strautins. "Then the one that plunged the deepest, and now the fastest growing again."

"We were in a deep mess"

In the crisis years of 20, the economy shrank by more than a fifth, wages fell by a third, and unemployment tripled. "The situation was worse than it is today in Greece, Portugal or Cyprus," says Latvian Finance Minister Andris Vilks. "We were really deep in the mess."

Lawsuit by amazon: court stops pentagon contract with microsoft

The Pentagon placed a major cloud contract with Microsoft, although Amazon has long been the favorite. Amazon sensed an influence from US President Trump behind it, took it to court – and won for the time being.

The US Department of Defense’s multi-billion dollar cloud contract with Microsoft has been temporarily suspended due to the lawsuit filed by competitor Amazon. The competent court granted a corresponding application for an injunction. Amazon accuses US President Donald Trump of having unlawfully interfered in the award process.

The dispute is about the so-called Jedi project to build a cloud system with which information from all branches of the armed forces is to be exchanged in one system using artificial intelligence. The ten billion dollar contract with a term of ten years surprisingly went to Microsoft last October, even though Amazon was the favorite.

The six day war

The situation in the Middle East changed dramatically when Syria signed a defense pact with Egypt in November 1966. Events come thick and fast: In April 1967 there are numerous aerial battles between Syrian and Israeli associations. On May 18, Egypt called on the UN to withdraw its troops from Sinai and the Gaza Strip. The soldiers have been stationed there as a buffer since the Suez War.

A few days later, Egypt again blocked shipping routes for Israel and concentrated its troops on the Sinai Peninsula. On May 30, Jordan’s King Hussein signed a military and assistance pact with Egypt. Iraq will follow in June. Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi soldiers are being mobilized and placed on the border with Israel.

Israel’s army is prepared. Before the Arab armies can attack, the Israeli air force takes off on the morning of June 5 for a pre-emptive strike and within three hours destroyed almost the entire Egyptian air force on the ground. On the same day, the Syrian and Jordanian air forces are destroyed.

Latin america and the us election: everything will be different?

The result of the US election will have a major impact – also for Latin America. Will Biden tear down the "wall" on Mexico again? How will the relationship with Cuba and Venezuela develop if Trump wins??

In Cuba, the US elections are being watched with particular tension. After the former Democratic US President Barack Obama heralded the end of the Ice Age between Cuba and the US, established diplomatic relations and eased the blockade, US sanctions were tightened again under Donald Trump.

Cuban economist Omar Everleny explains that relaxation would be possible again under Democrat Joe Biden as president. "The Cubans do not now expect that everything will change for them and that the blockade will end, not even the closure of Guantanamo," said Everleny. In his election campaign, however, Biden stated that he wanted to tie in with Obama’s policy on Cuba. "But of course the election campaign is one thing, the other is reality," said Everleny.

Law against discarded returns and coffee mugs

Every sixth online order goes down – and some of it ends up in the trash. Environment Minister Schulze wants to ban that. The cabinet approved a corresponding bill. But it leaves questions unanswered.

The government wants to oblige traders to keep goods usable and to share the costs of disposing of disposable cups or cigarettes. In the morning, the cabinet passed a corresponding draft law for the legal basis. It provides for a so-called duty of care for handling returns and unsold new goods.

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze wants to prevent high-quality goods from being destroyed, especially in online retail, for example to make room on the shelves – or because throwing them away is cheaper than offering items that have been returned. The extent of the destruction of the returns is not known in detail. That is why the SPD politician wants to oblige dealers to disclose whether they destroy goods and how many.